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CAIS Events

Trustee/School Head Conference
January 28 - 29, 2017

Keynote Presentation by Allen J. Proctor
January 28, 2017 9:00 am - 10:30 am

  • A New Definition of a Sustainable School
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Allen J. Proctor, Founder and Principal of Proctor's Linking Mission to Money
    The cost of education is a national concern, yet tuition and philanthropy are not always sufficient to provide the strong financial foundation a school needs. Using the principles of Linking Mission to Money®, you will learn about the forces driving this change and the essential role of trustees in maintaining your school’s culture and mission. You will see how many schools and nonprofits have grown non-tuition, non-grant revenues without compromising their missions or threatening their tax-exempt status.

Session One
January 28, 2017 10:45 am - 12:00 pm

  • Keynote Allen J. Proctor's Follow-Up Session: Using Social Enterprise to Achieve Sustainability While Preserving Your School’s Mission
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Allen J. Proctor, Founder and Principal of Proctor’s Linking Mission to Money
    How can schools develop profitable social enterprises without distracting them from their educational mission? This session will show how to use the Linking Mission to Money® Grid to maintain an appropriate balance between your educational mission and social enterprise opportunities to enhance non-tuition revenue. It will provide numerous examples of non-tuition revenue programs to illustrate how to evaluate the mission and financial implications of revenue-generating options.

  • Trusteeship 101
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Deborah E. Reed, Search Consultant, RG175
    This workshop is designed for those — especially new trustees — interested in exploring how the roles of trustees and heads relate in today’s dynamic independent school world. Special focus will be on the “gray areas” between the Board setting — and the Head implementing — major policy. The broader context will be the best use of trustees’ time and talent in positioning their school for success — in terms of institutional identity, market appetite, distinctive/differentiating features of their school, and financial sustainability.

  • Advanced Trusteeship: Board-Head Relations and Board Management
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Thomas Hudnut, Resource Group 175, Former Head, Harvard-Westlake School, and Wendy Wachtell, Trustee, and Michael Segal, Trustee, Harvard-Westlake School (7-12)
    War or Peace? Mere coexistence or active partnership? This session will examine ways the the crucial Board-Head relationship can go off the rails and suggest some ways to anticipate problems before they arise. Participants will learn how to recognize the warning signs and how to address them before the relationship deteriorates. We will discuss ways in which a Head frustrates a Board and how Trustees can similarly grate on a Head, and then suggest some ways to make things run smoothly. Too often this critical relationship ends up being less than it should be because it has been poorly managed by one or both parties. The antidote is an effective Board-Head relationship, but how to get there?

  • Featured Speaker Presentation: Crisis 101 - Hope is Not a Strategy
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Jane Hulbert, Partner, and Jim Hulbert, Partner, The Jane Group
    When a crisis affects a school, the more prepared the school, the better it will fare as it approaches and moves through the crisis. In this session, participants will learn how to prepare for a crisis and what the crisis process is from inquiry to investigation and the grey area in between. We will share steps to take in advance, the first ten steps in the first 60 minutes, and the key "pain points" the school must manage. This workshop will also explore key elements in effective messaging and the importance of communicating in the voice of the Head. The crisis will go away but HOW it goes away is key. Mini case studies will be conducted with attendees, who may take this experience back to their schools to share and train with their crisis teams.

  • The Bay Area BlendEd Consortium: Independent Schools in Partnership
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Eric Niles, Head of School, The Athenian School (6-12), Monique DeVane, Head of School, College Preparatory School (9-12), Eric Temple, Head of School, Lick Wilmerding High School (9-12), Travis Brownley, Head of School Marin Academy (9-12), and Mark Salkind, Head of School, The Urban School of San Francisco (9-12)
    The Heads of five Bay Area schools—The Athenian School, College Preparatory School, Lick-Wilmerding High School, Marin Academy, and The Urban School—will discuss how they joined together four years ago to create the Bay Area Blended Learning Consortium (BlendEd). Through this consortium the five schools now offer their students ten blended classes, combining online instruction and compelling face-to-face learning opportunities that engage Bay Area resources. Presenters will share how the Consortium has provided students, teachers and heads of school opportunities to work together in innovative ways that could serve as a model for collaboration among regional independent schools.

  • Featured Speaker Presentation: Current and Coming Legal Issues for Independent Schools
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Debra Wilson, General Counsel, National Association of Independent Schools
    Independent schools face a broad array of issues on all fronts, and those that trigger legal concerns can be among the most challenging. Student on student sexual assaults, mental health issues, wage and hour compliance, past cases of educator misconduct, and any number of employment, off campus, and other issues are in the mix. Come join this interactive, case study conversation with NAIS’ general counsel on the topics with which independent schools are wrestling, as well as those that will be coming down the road shortly.

  • Start Ups to Hogwarts: Constructive Trustee-Administrator Collaboration
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Landis Green, Head of School, and Lisa Flashner, Board Chair, Wildwood School (K-12)
    Independent schools, like all other organizations, go through multiple stages of development. What’s needed from trustees and senior administrators in the early years of a school’s development is vastly different from what’s needed in that school’s adolescence or from what’s needed to help an established school evolve to meet the needs of 21st century learners. Creating and sustaining a constructive relationship between trustees, heads, and senior administrators is critical to honoring mission while creating vision for the future. Doing so successfully is no easy task. In this session a long-serving Trustee leader and non-profit executive and an experienced Head discuss with participants the process of moving a Board from a start-up, co-op orientation to one focused on good governance, sustainable partnerships between board leaders and administrators, and a collaborative spirit focused on the creation and execution of mission-driven vision. The duo will focus on how to build trust, maximize collaboration, and reorient the board and administrative partnership away from the day-to-day and onward toward the jointly derived vision for the future.

  • The Other Transition: The Board Chair
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Melinda Bihn, Head of School, Gerard Schenkkan, Immediate Past Board Chair, and Josh Nossiter, Board Chair, French American International School (PreK-12)
    Schools wisely take time and care with the Head of School transition, attentively stewarding the process from the announcement of the departing Head through the search to the arrival of the new Head. The Board Chair transition is less public but no less important, requiring similar care – and perhaps even more discretion – on the part of trustees and school leaders, yet the process is often mysterious and confusing even to those involved. Join a Head of School, past Chair, and new Chair as they discuss leading their board through the Chair transition process. Learn how to educate new and veteran trustees about the process, how to engage the governance committee, the Head of School, and the outgoing Chair appropriately, how to communicate about the process to the board and the school community, and how to position the new Chair and the Head for success together. Identify pitfalls and tips for avoiding misunderstandings and missteps. Participants will leave ready to lead or participate effectively in the Board Chair transition process at their own schools.

  • Gender Inclusion and Awareness on School Campuses: Evolving Law, Policies, and Practices
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Michael Blacher, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, Joel Baum, Senior Director, Professional Development and Family Services, Gender Spectrum, and Barbara Whitney, Director of Finance & Operations, Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences (K-12)
    This presentation will provide an introduction to the concept and definition of gender, as well as perspectives on gender issues that may be faced by schools. Covering topics related to employees and students, we will give an overview of recent federal and state developments and discuss the evolving law and legal trends. We will explore how gender inclusion may be reflected in school policies, practices, and philosophy -- with special considerations for same-sex, bilingual and religious schools. A case study will demonstrate how these factors affected a campus building project. Considerations related to the use of typically-gendered spaces, student housing on field trips, bathroom signage and locker rooms, as well as recordkeeping requirements when there is a change in gender will be part of the conversation. The presenters will leave plenty of time for questions and participation. (MCLE credits will be available to attorneys attending this workshop).

  • Featured Speaker Presentation: What Every Trustee Needs to Know about Enrollment Management
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Heather Hoerle, Executive Director, The Enrollment Management Association
    Sustainable enrollment remains the number one issue facing independent schools. Yet, for the foreseeable future, independent schools have few positive indicators upon which to build enrollment strategy. Forecasts show a decrease in the number of school-aged children attending independent schools, and a widening gap between families who can and cannot afford our schools. Simply put, independent schools are not a “growth industry.” Innovative approaches to the independent school educational and financial model are needed, and those charged with leading their school’s enrollment strategy need ongoing training, in order to overcome ever-increasing challenges related to finding, admitting, and retaining mission-appropriate students. This workshop will address these data, trends, practices, and more.

Session Two
January 28, 2017 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

  • Keynote Allen J. Proctor's Follow-Up Session: Evaluating Your School’s Readiness to Launch and Sustain a New Business
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Allen J. Proctor, Founder and Principal of Proctor’s Linking Mission to Money
    How ready is your school to be successful with entrepreneurial strategies? What is your organization’s “NEQ” -- “nonprofit entrepreneurial quotient”? Using tools developed by CauseImpact© you will identify your school’s compatibility with the key characteristics needed for a successful new business and your ability to provide the mix of assets required for each business idea you are considering.

  • Featured Speaker Presentation: The Art of the Ask *Space is Limited to 60 Participants
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Jay Goulart, Co-Founder, Newsci, LLC
    *Space is limited to 60 participants and will be on a first come, first served basis.

    As schools continue to do fundraising for capital projects and operations, one of the tasks that requires expertise is the “The Ask.” In this session we review a highly successful framework and script for making the ask that has been used successfully to raise millions of dollars. This highly interactive session will teach you how to ask for a gift in a restaurant, place of business or how to manage a significant objection and make the experience positive for our prospects. Come prepared to participate!

  • Leadership for Diversity & Inclusion: The Board-Head Partnership
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Karen Eshoo, Head of School, Vistamar School (9-12), and Josh Brody, Head of School, Sequoyah School (K-10)
    As the demographic landscape of independent schools continues to become more diverse, Boards and Heads of School usually find themselves challenged to understand and respond to the different needs of a wide variety of constituencies in their schools. And, in schools that pride themselves on creating “safe” and “nice” communities, Boards and Heads need to be courageous enough to cast light on experiences that fall outside of these norms and develop different approaches to inclusivity. This session will focus on strategies that California independent schools can use for gathering and analyzing qualitative data on student and family experiences in their communities, and ways that schools can use their resources - financial, human, and otherwise - to create the most inclusive school communities. Chapter 16 in the recently revised accreditation manual asks schools to use data in decision-making, and this is one school’s response. (This is an added line that needs to be adjusted.)

  • Featured Speaker Presentation: How Prepared Is Your Board for a Crisis?
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Jim Hulbert, Partner, The Jane Group, and Lauren Lamm, Trustee, Branson School (9-12)
    In this workshop, Board Chairs and Trustees will get an increased understanding of their role in crisis times. We will share our Trustee Code of Conduct during a crisis and the importance of a disciplined Board. In addition, Trustees will receive practical guidance on what to say to colleagues and friends and how to manage parents, (and even media), which are stressful communications issues for trustees during a crisis. The Jane Group has spent years working with boards in crisis times. (Jim) Hulbert and Lamm will review best crisis practices and discuss key topics including trust rebuilding, the importance of a unified front, effective strategies for supporting the Head and what not to do. This session will also include a case study for active participation and discussion.

  • Creating a Code of Ethical Conduct: Conversations After Boundary Violations
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Kevin Hicks, President, Stevenson School (PreK-12), E. Quincy McLaughlin, Dean of Student Health, The Hotchkiss School (9-12), and David Wolowitz, Director & Co-Chair of Education Law Group, McLane Middleton
    A Code of Ethical Conduct articulates behavioral norms through standards that reflect a school's values and expectations. Even when schools identify such standards, some faculty and staff may still engage in behaviors that require a response. This workshop will describe a systematic approach to problematic faculty and student-to-student behavior.
    Learn how to coach faculty on standards, and respond to alleged boundary crossings with investigation and documentation. Leave equipped to respond to faculty behaviors and student-to-student reports of misconduct.

  • Public Partnerships: Success through Board Commitment and Faculty Leadership
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Julian Bull, Headmaster, J Barnes, Board Chair, Eileen Powers, Director of Public Partnerships, and John Rue, Director of Summer Enrichment Pilot Program, Campbell Hall (K-12)
    The public purpose of private schools has never been more evident. As economic inequality increases in our communities, independent schools are becoming even more committed to sharing the wealth of our programs with less fortunate students in our neighborhoods. Programming partnerships with local public and charter schools can be mutually beneficial, providing opportunities for our students to develop civic and moral responsibilities while making new friends, and sharing the benefits of an independent school education with more students with fewer resources. This session will review Campbell Hall’s organic and entrepreneurial approach to partnership development, reviewing a slate of partnership opportunities at all grade levels with very different approaches, timelines, outcomes, and budgets. Participants will learn: - How to involve trustees to ensure school-wide buy-in, avoid surprises, and ensure fundraising success - Internal staffing needs to coordinate and operate programs - How to work with (and around) public bureaucracies and leadership changes - Budgetary considerations and models.

  • Self-Study to Strategy: Transforming a School via Inquiry, Alignment, and Action
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Julia Eells, Head of School, Jay Banfield, Trustee and Strategic Design Chair, and Kate Garrett, Academic Dean, San Francisco University High School (9-12)
    Last January, we presented on our approach to the CAIS accreditation self-study and how it provided a powerful foundation for our strategic plan. With that plan now complete and underway, we would like to share the next stage of our journey at SFUHS: our strategic design process, how it worked, what we learned from it, and what this work has made possible for our school. Chapter 16 in the recently revised accreditation manual asks schools to use data in decision-making, and this is one school’s response.

  • Crafting a Successful Head Transition
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Laura Konigsberg, Head of School, Deborah Richman, Head of School Emeritus, and Stephen Plum, Board Chair, Turning Point School (K-8)
    This presentation will discuss how one school carefully and thoughtfully laid the groundwork for its new Head of School, the first hire in 28 years. From the retirement announcement to the arrival and support of the new Head, the school community set the stage for a smooth transition, resulting in an energetic and effective launch of the new school year. We will share, step-by-step, the transition process beginning with the former Head’s retirement announcement through the first semester for the new Head’s installment. We will focus on key initiatives that helped effect our transition, smoothly incorporated all constituents, and energized faculty and staff in anticipation of new leadership. Participants will take away important tips to implement at the Board, administrative, faculty and staff levels at their schools to earn a well-deserved reputation that will attract excellent candidates and propel the new Head forward and set the school on a course for success.

  • 14,000 Hours: The Role of Independent Schools in Reframing American Education
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Wendy Horng Brawer, Director of Advancement and Partnerships, Prospect Sierra School (K-8), and Joel Pelcyger, Head of School, PS 1 Pluralistic School (K-6),
    From kindergarten through high school, American children spend 14,000 hours in school. Schools are charged with fostering social relationships and creating a culture where people can demonstrate care for one another on a daily basis. They are also uniquely poised to make the most impact on a child’s life. The most frequent characterization of independent schools in the media are of elite institutions catering to the very rich. And yet, many of us in independent schools embrace diversity and create learning communities that respect and welcome individual differences. To overcome our reputation, and because it is the right thing to do, we can instead lead a movement toward a more equitable society in which everyone can feel that they are valued, contributing members. Independent school leaders have a responsibility and opportunity to demonstrate, as they have in Finland, that there is genius to be uncovered within each child. This workshop will engage participants in an exploration of ways for independent schools to help transform all schools and society in America by redefining the purpose of education.

  • Annual Legal Update for California Independent Schools
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Michael Blacher, Partner, and Donna Williamson, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
    It has been an eventful year in the courts and in the legislature! This presentation will review recent cases and new statutes from across the country that are of greatest significance to trustees and heads of school. It will also examine how these cases and statutes fit into the larger legal trends and emerging legal issues that board members and heads of schools should be tracking. We will cover frequent areas of concern while delving into critical issues that may be overlooked or misconstrued. The presentation is designed to leave trustees and heads of school with a better understanding of their legal obligations and challenges, as well to provide them with a proactive agenda for addressing them. Be prepared for a wide-ranging, interactive experience! (MCLE credits will be available to attorneys attending this workshop).

Session Three
January 28, 2017 3:15 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Board Chair Roundtable
    Workshop #
    Presenter: James McManus, Executive Director, California Association of Independent Schools, and Debra Wilson, General Counsel, National Association of Independent Schools
    Current and incoming Board Chairs are invited to join CAIS Executive Director Jim McManus and National Association of Independent Schools General Counsel Debra Wilson for an interactive roundtable discussion about trends, issues, and your questions regarding independent school governance.

  • Featured Speaker Presentation: New Fundraising Metrics: Accelerate Your Annual Fund & Major Gifts
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Jay Goulart, Co-Founder, Newsci, LLC
    Independent schools have been asking the same set of fundraising questions for 5 decades. We can see nationally the harm this is doing to maximize donor lifetime value (roi). Traditional metrics are no longer enough to drive fundraising success. This session will present data to demonstrate the need for additional questions and share specific metrics that can help your organization drive significant growth in fundraising dollars.

  • How to Communicate Well When the News is Bad: Crisis Communication Lessons
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Melinda Bihn, Head of School and Robert Movradinov, Director of Marketing and Communications, French American International School (PreK-12)
    All schools face crises, and the way we communicate during them shapes our school communities’ responses to fear and loss and determines our families’ faith in our leadership as heads of school and trustees. Drawing on the events of a year during which our school dealt with acts of terrorism in many students’ home countries, and graffiti on campus erroneously attributed to ISIS, learn the key principles of crisis communication: what to say, to whom, when, and how. Learn how to create a crisis team, how to sequence communications in order to support your school both during and after a crisis, how to work with police and other authorities, and how to deal with the press. Acquire tips for preparing for communications crises before they happen, suggestions for shaping parents’ expectations about crisis communication, and a list of do’s and don’ts gleaned from both the literature and our experience. Participants will leave with tools for guiding their own communities through crises large and small.

  • The Power of Longitudinal Data for Independent School Boards
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Eric Temple, Head of School, and Tori Peterson, Vice Chair Board of Trustees, Lick-Wilmerding High School (9-12)
    Chapter 16 in the recently revised accreditation manual asks schools to use data in decision-making. Knowing how people perceive your school and how various constituent groups feel about your success in delivering your mission is vital to your school’s marketing efforts and informing decision making. Three years ago, Lick-Wilmerding High School embarked on a strategic project to longitudinally measure the satisfaction and perception that various constituencies have toward the school. From identifying key measures to designing the survey and interpreting the results, this workshop will discuss the benefits of the study, what we have learned along the way, and how we use the data to inform decision-making and drive institutional change. Workshop participants will come away with an approach for developing their own perception and satisfaction study as well as examples of how to use the data to drive school improvement.

  • Need Board Education? Join Forces and Find Solutions - the Governance Roundtable
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Olaf Jorgenson, Head of School, Almaden Country School (PreK-8) and Zachary Roberts, Head of School, Gateway School (K-8)
    Our schools confront the same challenges: affordability, adaptability, financial sustainability, measuring our value-added. Many problems school leaders encounter have already been addressed by another school -- and possibly by one of our local competitors. What if trustees at nearby schools called a competitive truce, naming their common challenges and pooling their collective talent in pursuit of solutions? In this spirit, board members from 12 schools in San Francisco’s South Bay Area joined forces in our first-annual Governance Roundtable. The event aimed at three goals: provide concentrated, meaningful trustee education; build communication and connections with peer schools; deliver practical takeaways: new perspectives and steps to tackle the challenges we all face. We’ll explain how to develop a Roundtable, offer a sample agenda and topics, and share risks we took, pitfalls we avoided, and mistakes we made in this powerful iteration of trustee education and community-building.

  • Creating Culturally Sensitive Traditions
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Tanynya Hekymara, Trustee & Consultant, Westmark School (2-12)
    This workshop will explain how to identify school customs, traditions and systems that are exclusionary and/or exhibit cultural appropriation or display. A step-by-step procedure that includes the school community will be shared to assist schools as they work to create sustainable change and move the school community toward cultural exchange and sensitivity. Participants will learn to identify traditions that need to be revamped and leave with a system to nurture sustainable change.

  • Strategic Decision Making: Overcoming Common Heuristics
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Michael Walker, Head of School, San Francisco Day School (K-8)
    The outcomes of the decisions we make is one of if not the most significant determinants of our performance. Understanding how we make decisions is an essential skill set. We are neurologically hardwired to rely on heuristics, or patterns, of decision-making, many of which lead us to less than optimal outcomes. This session will enable participants to identify, monitor, and in some cases overcome our reliance on these heuristics, improving both our individual and team performance. Participants will be invited to share case studies from their own schools, and put into practice the decision making models presented in the session.

  • Successful Head of School Transition: Lessons Learned from 6 Interim Experiences
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Lila Lohr, Interim Head of School, and Julie Ashley, Incoming Board Chair, Town School for Boys (K-8)
    Using the Interim Head of School position at Town School for Boys in San Francisco as a case study, presenters will draw on Town School’s Interim Head’s five other interim headships to outline best practices for boards of trustees, administrative teams and school communities in providing smooth transitions from a departing Head to an Interim Head to the Head Elect. With input from the Co-chair of the Search Committee and Chair-elect of the Board of Trustees of Town School, the session will provide guidelines for selecting, welcoming, setting goals, working with and evaluating the Interim Head, as well as suggestions for providing a smooth transition from an Interim to the Head-elect. Participants will be invited to submit questions at the beginning of the session so the presenters can tailor their presentations to respond to those areas of interest.

  • Caught in the Middle? When Family Struggles Cause School Troubles
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Donna Williamson, Partner, and Judith Islas, Senior Counsel, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
    Divorce, custody battles, estranged parents, substance abuse, physical and psychological abuse, illness, job loss, and financial problems. School families sometimes experience these and many other struggles. Schools are cautioned to “stay out of family problems.” But, how do we stay out of family problems that show up at school in so many ways? Subpoenas for teachers to testify in custody cases; a parent begging the school not to dismiss his (really great) child while an unstable estranged parent emails unreasonable demands to the school; a parent who smells of alcohol at school functions; are just some of the situations that schools face everyday. This session will identify best practices for navigating difficult family situations including identifying documents school should have in place, protocols for communicating with these families, and instructions for teachers who are faced with these issues. Advice on subpoenas, restraining and custody orders, and records requests, will also be provided. A School lawyer will lead an interactive presentation using real case scenarios to discuss these issues and answer your questions. (MCLE credits will be available to attorneys attending this workshop).

  • Message Your Mission: Telling Your School’s Story to New Families
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Jennie Winton, Partner, Co-Founder, Mission Minded, and Jon Herzenberg, Associate Head of School, Drew School (9-12)
    In this session you'll learn how to describe your school's values and mission in a way that resonates with right-fit families, how to create messages that everyone at your school will want to use, and how new messages support both admissions and development efforts. You'll hear from one independent high school in San Francisco that invested in new messages and a fresh admissions campaign and had their best admissions season in the school's history as a result.

January 28, 2017 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Keynote Presentation by Donna Orem
January 29, 2017 9:30 am - 11:15 am

  • The New Competition: Evolving to Thrive in a Changing Landscape
    Workshop #
    Presenter: Donna Orem, President, National Association of Indpendent Schools
    There are four major forces that will require new thinking and great agility from school leaders in the years ahead: changing consumer attitudes, new school models bringing increased competition, the emergence of the gig economy, and the school to college to work continuum. In order to thrive, school leaders need to understand these forces and adapt to changing needs. That ability to deftly translate mission in a new context will provide the competitive advantage in a complex landscape. We'll briefly outline these forces both nationally and in California and suggest strategies for ensuring success.

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CAIS is an organization of approximately 200 elementary, middle and secondary schools in California. The Association serves and strengthens its schools by:
  • setting standards of academic quality and ethical conduct
  • facilitating the professional growth of faculty, administrators, and trustees
  • promoting ethnic and socio-economic diversity